At Affirmations, Eric did a dual Affirmation for us of our spirited disagreement over dinner (c'mon, she brought up Napoleon Dynamite) -- I think both of the entertainment factor and that we do this so clearly grounded in love.
Trelawney's Affirmation of me was that she really likes hearing me talk about my opinions. "You have a lot of opinions," she said, in that deadpan way she has. I laughed. She said that at first it threw her a little because she didn't know me, but now she knows that what's behind it is this sweetheart.
Michelle quipped to me, "They think we're nice! We've got them fooled! Onward domination!"
My Affirmation of her was that in discussion she always takes what I say and re-presents it in a way that sounds so much nicer than my way, and that I'm really impressed by that ability. She was surprised and said that's just how she hears them.
Oh, in her self-Affirmation Michelle said that her therapist asked her if she could imagine life without her husband (they've been having problems for a while) and her honest answer was "I don't know," but she also thought, "Well I'd have myself," and that this is such a huge step for her, that in the past whenever she didn't have a boyfriend she was so miserable, all "Nobody wants me" etc. Of course I acknowledged what a huge wonderful thing this was for her, but I also couldn't help thinking that for all my doubt about whether I'm ever gonna have a relationship/partner of the caliber I want (I know, I know, I'm young yet) I have always been fine on my own. My self-esteem is very tied to external validation, but aside from the fact that I just don't like people, people are always leaving, so to be so invested in a single relationship [I'm talking friendship here] that losing them would be such a blow is terrifying to me (hello stubborn self-sufficiency). This should of course in no way be interpreted as a devaluation of any of the people I love dearly.
I'm always so surprised that people who are so forceful in their opinions and personalities actually have such low self-esteem, because in myself low self-esteem is so foundational to a hesitancy to speak up.
I wasn't particularly impressed by the video. My biggest frustration was that people kept saying things in really broad terms.
1. Nelson I think it was said that if one of his kids called him up every morning asking, "Dad, what's your will for me today?" he would think he was a supreme failure as a parent. I'm very attached to the idea of God having a plan for us, and my understanding of Will is informed by Layna and [her] Toby, and it just really rubbed me the wrong way.
2. Spong talked about how he doesn't like the idea of imitating Christ, and he eventually came to understand it as that Christ was exactly who God wanted Christ to be, and that we should aim to be the best we can be but at being ourselves rather than trying to be someone else. Yes I think it's useful to be reminded that we do not have to live exactly as Christ did (up to and including his death), but I think it's problematic to leave this out for people to avoid imitating Christ in any way they happen to not feel comfortable with. I think Christ's love and generosity are things we are called to imitate (esp. because of what he says sums up the law and the prophets -- love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself). I think Christ lived in close relationship with God. So I don't really see Spong's problem with Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ (which admittedly I haven't read).
3. Okay, I'm not sure now if I had a 3; I obliged Michelle in a shoulder rub, so that meant I didn't take notes.
Other things that bothered me:
* I think they open with a guy saying the Creation stories are so much richer if we look at them as "why" stories rather than "how" stories and then just a few scenes later we have Borg talking about how if you believe these to be God's stories then they must be true whereas if you look at them as human stories -- as Ancient Israel's stories of Creation, like every civilization had its stories of Creation -- then you're not gonna require historical accuracy etc. of them. I understand his point, but there just felt like such a disconnect between the two segments -- like why can't they be God's stories of a "why" of Creation?
* Fairly early on, they had a snippet of someone rejecting the idea of redemptive violence, and of course I'm an ends-justify-means girl, but I also didn't see where it fit in to the general theme.
* Borg talked about how "even in liberal churches" almost every single service includes a Prayer of Confession and Absolution, and joked about being at this weeklong thing where every morning the 9am service that opened the day first thing after the opening him was Confession and Absolution -- like it's 9am and already you've been bad. My first thought of course was, " 'Even in liberal churches'? Does the term 'liberal guilt' mean nothing to you?" Plus, I'm fond of reminders that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" [Romans 3:23]. Not even in the sense of the faith vs. works debate, but just the reminder that we can always be doing better, and that we should hesitate to feel [morally] superior to anyone else. I don't care about the Absolution, because I think for individual sins you confess to God directly and don't wait for Sunday morning (hi, I'm such a Protestant).
* There was bit on songs of creation, and I like the idea that God created and saw that it was good, and even the idea of all creation singing praises to God, but I'm just really not into the anthropomorphizing of nature, and I get particularly squicked around the idea that we are to care for and preserve nature as if we are not part of nature -- that things we do to nature are inherently destructive and bad. (Yes, I am my father's daughter like whoa.) I know that we have far more awareness, planning ahead abilities, etc., along with a greater ability to destroy than any other animal on the planet, so certainly we have responsibilities, but environmentalism (like so much of liberalism) often makes me twitchy.
Oh, one interesting thing from the video is that it's when Adam and Eve blame parties other than themselves for their transgressions that God kicks them out of the garden. Plus of course the fact that in this paradisaical context there was a snake in the grass at all.
One guy kept saying that the question you should ask of a myth is not whether it's true or not but whether it's living or dead, and I would have liked some actual explanation on what he meant by that. It also triggered my varying ideas on what "True" means -- so that you can say a story is true on a lot of levels even if it's not necessarily a factually accurate representation of a historical event.